For those who didn't know, there used to a be a miniature rabbit inside the 30-feet-tall bronze statue of the late Nelson Mandela in Pretoria, South Africa. After Mandela died last December, artists Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren worked quickly to complete their honorary statue. Once they had completed their bronze rendering of Mandela, however, the sculptors weren't allowed to sign the massive statue. However, that didn't stop them from trying to leave their mark. Prinsloo and Janse van Vuuren secretly incorporated a tiny rabbit inside Mandela's right ear. It was a clever move, since the bunny is a trademark of the two artists' artwork, and it plays off the word "haas," which means both "rabbit" and "haste" in Afrikaans.

Anyway, word of the small animal got out. South African leaders immediately had the rabbit removed, and the comment of one government spokesperson will crack you up. “We don’t think it’s appropriate, because Nelson Mandela never had a rabbit in his ear,” Mogomotsi Mogodiri said to BBC in January. Right.

Fortunately, PETA has swooped in with an offer to adopt the displaced bronze rabbit. "Mandela cared about cruelty to animals. . . . We would be honored to use the bronze rabbit, the same animal who proudly leaps across PETA’s logo, to honor Mandela’s vision of a more peaceful, kinder world," PETA's associate director Mimi Bekhech wrote in an official statement. Go, PETA.

[via ArtNetNews]

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